Relational turbulence and perceptions of partner support during reintegration after military deployment

Leanne K. Knobloch, Erin D. Basinger, Jennifer A. Theiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transition from deployment to reintegration can be stressful for returning military personnel and at-home partners, and support plays a key role in their ability to transition effectively. We draw on relational turbulence theory to advance predictions about how parameters of the relationship between returning service members and at-home partners predict their perceptions of their partner’s support during the post-deployment transition. We surveyed 235 individuals (117 returning service members, 118 at-home partners) who had experienced the transition within the past 6 months. Findings consistent with the theory indicated that relational turbulence partially mediated the negative associations that relational uncertainty and interference from a partner shared with partner support. Partner uncertainty was a direct negative predictor of partner support as well. We consider how these results extend theory, research, and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-73
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Interference from a partner
  • military deployment
  • relational turbulence
  • relational uncertainty
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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